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Should you Paint or Stain Your Deck? Pros and Cons of Each Choice

Decks are sort of like an extension of your kitchen, aren’t they? On warm days, they allow you to bring your living space outdoors with you. They provide a laid-back location for sharing the fun of a summer afternoon with your loved ones. There’s the sound of the kids playing on the lawn, the mouthwatering smell of meat on the grill, the warm feeling of the sun on your face and the comfortably worn wooden planks under your bare feet. What could be better?

If you love that feeling, like we do, then you know it takes regular maintenance to keep your deck looking great summer after summer.

So, when it comes to refinishing your deck this year, should you paint it or stain it?

Both Paint and Stain can Protect Your Wooden Deck for Years of Use

In a sense, your choice comes down to preference. Both painting and staining will help your deck last longer than it would if it were left untreated. Both materials keep water out of your wood and protect it from sun damage. We certainly recommend that you treat your wooden deck so that you can entertain friends and family outside for years to come.

There are slight differences between paint and stain, however, that may make you lean one way or the other. Below, we list the pros and cons of each choice.

Painting Your Deck: Pros and Cons

Painting has a few benefits over staining that you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Paint has a thicker finish than stain. It can fill little gaps in your deck, so it’s a great choice if your deck already has a little wear and tear.
  • Darker paint can be easier to clean than light-colored paint or stain. If paint is treated correctly, it protects your wood so that dirt washes right off. If you’ve got pets or kids, this may be a big benefit to you.
  • Speaking of protection, paint is better at resisting rot and mold, as well as blocking sun damage.
  • With paint, your color choices are endless. If you’re into adding pops of color to your home or yard, paint might be your best choice.

As with any choice, painting comes with some drawbacks as well:

  • It’s not the most natural looking choice. If you love the look of hardwood, you may want to consider a stain instead of covering up all of that beautiful wood grain with solid color.
  • If you do go with paint, keep in mind that you’re making that choice forever. It’s extremely difficult to switch from paint to stain. You’ll most likely end up repainting your deck from year to year.
  • Most of us aren’t color experts. A color that looks great on an interior wall won’t necessarily look great under your feet. Yes, there are lots of color choices. There’s also the chance that you could create extra work for yourself by choosing wrong.
  • With paint, you may have to be extra careful when it’s wet or icy outside. Depending on the sheen of your pain, your deck can become very slippery. If you’re concerned about slips and falls, you might want to simply stain your deck instead.

Staining Your Deck: Pros and Cons

If you rule out paint, you’ll want to consider either a semi-transparent stain or a clear sealer. There’s a lot to choose from in this category, but a few general benefits apply across the board:

  • Do you love the natural beauty of wood? Stain allows that beauty to shine through. With stain, you keep that lovely variety and texture of wood grain.
  • Generally speaking, stains aren’t as slippery as paint covering. They give you a flat surface that lightly protects the wood without completely covering it up with a polished sheen.
  • When you paint a room, do you ever miss a spot? If you’re not great with a brush,  you might want to consider staining. It’s easier to apply and a bit more forgiving than paint.
  • If you prefer stain but also want plenty of color choices, you’re in luck. Stain now comes in a variety of shades. Just be sure to consider the color of the wood itself as you pick your color.

No choice is perfect. Here are a few drawbacks to staining or sealing your deck rather than painting it:

  • Choosing stain? Get ready to reapply! Stain may not last as long as paint does, so you may have to recoat your deck more often. If maintenance really isn’t your thing, go with paint instead.
  • Is your deck a little worse for wear? Stain doesn’t fill cracks as easily as paint does. It’s simply thinner than paint. So if your deck has some trouble spots you’d like to cover up, paint might be a better choice.
  • If you’re not a fan of the rustic look, you might want to choose paint rather than sealant or stain. Stain won’t really cover all of wood’s imperfections. If you don’t care for the look of wood grain, make a different selection.

SNL Painting, Inc. can Paint or Stain Your Deck. Call on Us for Friendly Service and Expertise

If you’d rather not do the job yourself, our professionals at SNL can make your deck look great for you. We first power wash your deck to both clean the surface and get your deck ready for a new coat of stain or paint. Then we hand-brush your entire deck. We don’t spray your deck; we believe hand brushing makes the job look better and last longer.

If you have questions about what we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Our pros would love to take your summer space from good to great this year.

Keep Your Deck in Great Shape Whether it’s Spring, Summer, or Fall!

We hope you’ve enjoyed your deck this summer. As the weather gets cooler, it’s tempting to leave the chores for later – maybe even next year.

Don’t! We recommend doing maintenance on your deck now so you don’t face nasty challenges come spring.

Deck Maintenance in Early Fall

Some homeowners think they’re off the hook once cool weather starts. They begin counting the number of times they’ll have to mow the lawn before snow falls, or they happily cover their patio furniture and forget about it until spring. If you own a deck, however, you have to maintain it properly to make sure you will get years of use from it.

So, let’s talk about what you can do – right now – to care for your premier party patio!

  • Trim bushes and trees.

This may not seem like a necessary chore, but trimming nearby bushes can help slow the growth of mold, moss, or rot on your deck. Trim them back now so you don’t have mold issues in the spring.

  • Rake leaves and don’t let debris pile up.

This chore is important for the same reason. You don’t want to peel rotted leaves off your deck when the weather warms up.

  • Don’t leave planters or patio furniture in the same place.

Moving them around occasionally helps you avoid discoloration.

  • Shop for discount patio furniture!

If you’re less than thrilled with the look of your patio, fall is the ideal time to buy. Several retailers will want to clear out their patio furniture in the fall and may offer deep discounts.

  • If the weather’s nice, go ahead and wash, seal, and stain your deck for next summer.

Save yourself a springtime chore! As long as the weather is mild, fall can be the perfect time to get this chore out of the way so your springtime entertaining can begin early. After all, deck stains are not designed for temperatures below 50 or above 90, and they need to dry out for a couple of days after application. For both of these reasons, the dry, mild weather of fall might just be ideal. These tips will come in handy if you decide these cooler days offer a great opportunity to spruce up that deck.

When the Snow Melts, Take Care of Spring Chores  

Once the snow melts and the warm weather returns, it’s important to check your deck for mold and mildew and give it a good wash. Remove debris and sweep the entire deck before washing it with an appropriate cleanser.

When you clean, you can use a garden sprayer, brush or paint roller. But don’t let liquid pool on your deck and don’t let the deck dry until you’ve scrubbed it completely. We recommend paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleanser and rinsing thoroughly with clean water. Don’t forget to clean the railings! If you plan to seal your deck as well, wait two days before doing so.  

Our experts can help you stain your deck, as well! Spring is the best time to get your deck ready for entertaining.

More Tips and Tricks for Late Spring and Summer

You’re not off the hook over the summer! Here’s what you can do to maintain that deck and keep entertaining all season long …

When the weather is warm, that’s the best time to inspect your deck’s structure, look for signs of rot, and check how sturdy those joints are. Here are a few pro tips to get you started …

  • When you look for rot, check the stairs and each post. It helps to use a screwdriver to test areas you suspect may be rotted out. Some of these areas can simply be removed with a chisel or patched with a wood preservative. For extensive damage, however, you’ll need to contact a carpenter or home repair professional.
  • Use a flashlight to check underneath your deck. Be sure to check what carpenters call the ledger — a frame attaching the deck to your house. If the ledger looks weak, you’ll want to have it repaired right away so there’s no risk of collapse. Be sure to check that any major beams are attached with lag screws, not nails, and that none of these screws are rusted out.
  • Don’t neglect the railing. Check to see that posts are not loose. Finally, check for cracks or rotting boards on the deck itself.

If you’d like to hire a professional to get your deck spruced up while the weather is mild, let us know! Our professionals will be happy to keep your deck looking great year round.  

Three Valuable Benefits of Wood Deck Restoration

Spring is finally here, which means now is the perfect time to address some of the exterior components of your home that may have been ravaged by last year’s seasonal elements. 

Breathe some life back into your wooden deck or patio by keeping these three benefits of wood deck restoration in mind.

 

What is wood deck restoration?

Wood deck restoration can be a simple job, – or a more intensive job – depending on the age and condition of your wood deck. If your deck is only several years old, it may just need a good cleaning and a fresh coat of hand-brushed stain to return it to its former glory. If your deck has been neglected for a prolonged period of time, however, you may be in need of a full restoration treatment.

 

What causes damage to your wood deck over time?

Due to its outside location and predisposition to high foot traffic, wood deck damage is seldom avoidable. With every step that is taken across your deck’s surface, the original stain weakens ever so slightly. The same goes for exposure to various weather elements: rain, snow, hail and even the sun can all wreak havoc on the integrity of your deck’s porous exterior. Fortunately, there is something you can do to ensure your deck stays in beautiful working condition for years – if not decades – to come.

 

What are the benefits of wood deck restoration?

As we mentioned above, restoring your deck to a “like new” quality can be a simple or difficult process, depending on its current condition. The benefits of wood deck restoration, however, are the same across the board:

1) Increased Visual Appeal

The first thing you will notice when you re-stain your wood deck is an upgrade in its visual appeal. Sine wood is both porous and fibrous, each board has its own unique granular signature that is highlighted by a fresh coat of stain, giving your deck a finish that no other deck is likely to have.

2) Add Value to Your Home

A wooden deck that has not been maintained is viewed as a financial liability for those looking to sell and/or purchase a home. A wood deck that has been freshly restored, however, can be an asset. In fact, a well-kept deck can recoup up to 90 percent of the value that was originally spent to build and install it.

3) Prevent Your Deck From Rotting

If your deck is not re-stained regularly, the wood will begin to deteriorate. In severe cases, your deck can even begin to rot away, forcing you to spend unnecessary amounts of money to have the failing components replaced or even have your entire deck rebuilt. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you re-stain your deck no less than every two to three years.

 

Restore your wood deck today!

Do you have a wood deck or patio that’s in need of some restoration love? Don’t go the journey alone! SNL Painting Inc. offers premium deck restoration services for affordable rates. To receive a complimentary, no obligation price quote for services that will fit your needs and your budget, click here. We look forward to working with you!

 

 

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